An Axios DC article yesterday morning on DDOT bike lane projects planned through 2024 took note of what was missing: “lanes on Connecticut Avenue, which would connect upper Northwest to Dupont Circle and downtown.”
A few hours later, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DDOT filled in some of those missing lanes. They announced the elimination of the reversible lanes along upper Connecticut Avenue. And DDOT will proceed with plans to install protected bike lanes along the stretch between Calvert and Legation Streets.
The reaction from Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh, who secured the $2.2 million for the upcoming design process in the FY 2022 budget:
Today was a big day for major transportation safety announcements, but it is really just the beginning.
— Mary M. Cheh (@marycheh) December 15, 2021
The preferred concept was presented to the public in 2020 as Concept C, which has evolved during the two-year reversible lane safety study to include 24-hour parking on one side of the street in commercial areas. The design could also include left-turn lanes and floating bus islands.
Four advisory neighborhood commissions supported Concept C, some unanimously. ANC 3C vice-chair Janell Pagats told WTOP, “The brave people who bike down Connecticut Avenue, I mean, they’re going to be so much safer.”
All users will find travel on Connecticut is safer, ANC 3F chair David Cristeal told The Washington Post.
DDOT staff said at the March and April public meetings that they would make their recommendations to DDOT management by the end of June. During the intervening months, Acting Director Everett Lott told WAMU/DCist, the agency was doing “due diligence” and making sure they “understood all of the pros as well as the cons.”
No one will be gliding down Connecticut in a protected bike lane anytime soon. Completing the project’s design alone is expected to take 18 months, according to the mayor’s statement.